Seeing that Cheng Yu had returned, Lin An Lan got ready to cook.
“I thought you’d have to stay a little longer.” he said.
“There was no need for me to. I promised you I would be back as soon as I could.” Rolling up his sleeves, Cheng Yu washed his hands and began to prepare dinner.
Lin An Lan put the apron he had found from the apartment around him, made him turn around, fixed the apron and then complimented him, “It looks good.”
Cheng Yu looked at the pink apron on his body, “Good?”
“An essential for a vigorous man!” Lin An Lan said.
Unable to help laughing, Cheng Yu stroked his head then let him go.
One of them was cutting vegetables and the other was stir-frying, but they worked very well together.
It didn’t take long for Cheng Yu to finish stir-frying six dishes and to finish preparing a pot of soup.
“That’s enough.” Lin An Lan stopped him. “There are only two of us, so six dishes and a soup is quite enough.”
Heeding his words, Cheng Yu put out the fire and brought out the dishes.
The dishes were all home-cooked, three of which were Lin An Lan’s favorites and the other three, Cheng Yu’s favorites, which was fair enough.
Cheng Yu didn’t drink while he was at the Cheng family’s house, but he opened a beer now, intending to clink glasses with Lin An Lan.
“Happy New Year.” He said to Lin An Lan.
Lin An Lan looked at him with a smile, “Happy New Year to you too.”
Then he dished some of the food and put it in Cheng Yu’s bowl, “Let’s eat.”
Looking down, Cheng Yu tasted his bowl of food and thought in his heart that this was probably the best New Year’s Eve dinner he had ever eaten.
Lin An Lan watched the Spring Gala Festival while chatting with Cheng Yu, so it took almost an hour before they finished the meal.
Taking Lin An Lan into his arms, Cheng Yu watched the Spring Gala Festival with him for a while before he turned to look at him.
“Can I give you a present?” He asked him.
Lin An Lan nodded, “What is it?”
Getting up, Cheng Yu took a box out of the pocket of his jacket and handed it to him. Lin An Lan took it and opened it to find a brooch.
The brooch was extravagantly made, with layers of flowers entwined, a sapphire at the very top and pearls and diamonds on the rest of the leaves.
“It’s so beautiful.” Lin An Lan marveled, “I can tell it’s expensive.”
“Perfect for embellishing your suit when you walk down the red carpet.” Cheng Yu said.
Looking at the tightly wound roses, tulips and magnolias on the brooch, Lin An Lan asked Cheng Yu, “You designed it?”
Cheng Yu nodded, “It’s okay, I guess.”
“It’s more than okay, it’s extravagant.” Lin An Lan felt that his art lessons hadn’t been wasted at all.
“Are these pearls the ones you picked up for me the last time?” Lin An Lan asked, pointing to the pearls on the brooch.
“You added diamonds and gemstones to match the pearls, which, all of a sudden, have become the least valuable presence on this brooch and simply don’t match the value of the rest.”
Pulling Lin An Lan into his arms, Cheng Yu said warmly, “That’s because they really don’t match the value of the rest. He is the only valuable item in this pile; the others are just substitutes that can be found everywhere. As much as one wants, one can easily obtain them.”
Lin An Lan looked at the beautiful sapphire on the brooch and thought that it was only Cheng Yu who could say this.
But he approved.
Good-looking jewelry was rare but not unique, and Cheng Yu had picked up the pearls himself, the only one of its kind.
Looking up, he kissed Cheng Yu, “It’s very beautiful, I like it a lot.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Cheng Yu laughed.
“But I haven’t made your present yet, so you’ll have to wait a little.” Lin An Lan told him.
“Okay.” Cheng Yu was unconcerned about this. He enjoyed giving Lin An Lan gifts and simply wanted to give Lin An Lan what he felt was good and what he liked.
He didn’t need Lin An Lan to give him a gift in return, however, if Lin An Lan wanted to give him a gift in return, he would treasure it carefully and cautiously.
Therefore knowing that Lin An Lan had prepared a gift for him was enough to make him happy, so what was the harm in waiting?
The two men nestled in delight on the sofa, leaning intimately against each other as they talked.
As the atmosphere became ambiguously sticky, Lin An Lan said to him shyly, “Let’s go to the room.”
Smiling, Cheng Yu nibbled on his lips, “We’re the only ones in the house, and you’re still embarrassed?”
Lin An Lan gave a small hum.
Picking him up, Cheng Yu went into the bedroom.
He kissed the man in front of him tenderly, feeling his body soften in his arms.
As he nibbled on Lin An Lan’s lips, he asked him, “Do you like me?”
Lin An Lan’s voice was soft as he answered, “Yes.”
“Like me the most?”
Lin An Lan nodded, allowing him to kiss his jaw and neck.
The room was silent, the light warm and translucent where it reached. Lin An Lan closed his eyes, but saw a starry sky.
Summer fireflies danced around him as he stepped forward in the light, the mountains silent, his world warm and peaceful.
Cheng Yu watched as he leaned in and snuggled up to him, his posture one of total trust, unguarded.
His shoulder still had the hickey he had just left without restraint. Touching it gently, Cheng Yu asked him, “Does it hurt?”
Lin An Lan shook his head. He was a little sleepy, his whole body flushed with tiredness.
“Take me to the bathroom so I can take a shower, I want to go to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow to make dumplings.” Lin An Lan whispered.
Bopping his nose against his, Cheng Yu picked him up and went in to the bathroom to take a shower.
And out of their sight, Jiang Xu stood at the door of Lin An Lan’s house and whispered, “Xiao Lan, Happy New Year.”
He said this in a lonely tone, and after finishing, stood quietly as he hid in the darkness in silence.
By the time Lin An Lan and Cheng Yu returned to the bedroom again, zero hour had long passed and the night was heavy as the two blow dried their hair and prepared for bed.
Getting under the covers, Cheng Yu took Lin An Lan into his arms, kissed him, and said to him, “Happy New Year. An An, in this new year, you will be happy and have all you wish for fulfilled.”
“You too.” Lin An Lan said, “Little flower, you will also be happy and have all you wish for fulfilled.”
Smiling, Lin An Lan hugged him tighter and closed his eyes.
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